LFMM #4 Results: The Snowflake Method Outlining Experiment

It’s been almost two months since I made a post here, and that’s because I’ve really fallen away from social media and anything other than just writing.

If you have been following along on my posts, you’ll know that I attempted to outline the second novel in my Crows Series , rather than do the usual seat-of-my-pants routine. In the past, it never seemed to work and I never seemed to be able to keep any deadline I imposed on myself.  So I used the Snowflake Method, and it was going great…

…Until I got about halfway through writing the first draft and reached the middle.  (If you have been watching my Word Count Meter you’ll see that it sort of stagnated around 50%).

So here’s the conclusion: My attempt at outlining resulted in FAILURE.  I wanted to finish that first draft by June 30th, remember?  It’s July 31st!  Oh well.  Gotta get up and keep moving.

I can’t tell you if it failed because the Snowflake Method doesn’t work or if it’s just me.

I think I created a solid outline and detailed all the scenes and their respective goals.  For the first half of the outline, the writing was going really well.  I was making good progress.  But then as I approached the middle of the first draft, my enthusiasm started to flag.  The scenes completely lost their intrigue and luster, and writing even one sentence became creative torture rather than creative pleasure.  So I stopped.

Writing should not be torture!  It should never be like that.  When it becomes like that it’s time to start over.  Or at the very least, tackle the scene from a different angle.  So I put away the outline I’d spent a solid month making, and started from the top.  I went through each scene, tweaking, adjusting, rewriting and writing in new parts.  Suddenly the story seemed fresher.  I teased out brand-new nuances out of characters and scenes that I NEVER would have been able to do with simply an outline.

Since the outlining failed in producing a complete first draft, I’m still stuck with the problem of finishing the story at a set time (for a publication date of October 26th, 2018).  That leaves me less than 3 months!  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I am determined to finish this book by then.  I had to make a solid commitment and not just to myself.  I had to make a real-world commitment.  So I went ahead and scheduled time with an editor.  I booked a spot on Hidden Gems ARC (a service that distributes ARCs of your book and follows up with reviewers).  There is just one more thing I have to do, which is schedule my book for pre-order on Amazon.  The only issue is that final files must be uploaded and locked-in 10 days before release.  Because of time constraints due to editing, I am not sure if this is a good idea.  I might need those extra 10 days to do more tweaking.

So what happened to me as a result of making ‘real world’ commitments?  I stopped the overthinking.  I am literally getting my butt in a chair, every single day, jamming on some headphones and banging out the rest of the story.  I have no other choice.



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